Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Vineyard Pinot Noir

Green Valley of Russian River Valley, California

Dutton-Goldfield Winery began in a vineyard in 1998, when longtime colleagues and friends Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield recognized a shared vision between them—to craft wines that express the personalities of their vineyards, and which they’d enjoy drinking at their own dinner tables. Our mission is to produce world-class wines that display the brightness of fruit, complexity, structure and balance that are reflective of our cool coastal home.

Tasting Notes

The mild 2019 season let our Fox Den vineyard hang relatively long, which imbued the wine with a gorgeous plush satin texture surrounding its concentrated red fruit flavors. From first sniff, a lusciousness and sense of depth comes through. Strawberry compote aromas are edged in pretty floral notes of violets and lavender, with an interesting savory thyme note carrying the bottom tones. The mouth is decadently rich, yet pure and vibrant, with candied raspberry leading the intense juiciness. Fine-grained tannins carry the lengthy finish, ending in berry with a black tea earthiness. Play up the fruit and herb notes with similar flavors, and the plush texture with richer dishes, like duck breasts with sour cherry and thyme, pancetta wrapped turkey, or grilled skirt steak with peaches. For cheeses, a Manchego, gruyere, or taleggio would make nice matches.

Riff off the satiny theme with your food pairings, with dishes like duck confit, sweetbreads, pulled pork, and seared tuna. For cheese pairings, match the sweet/tart nature of the wine with a creamy goat cheese, Kaseri, or Bellwether Farm’s San Andreas.

Alcohol:  14.1%
TA:  6.20 g/L
pH:  3.45
Open top fermentation, cold soak, punch down
Barrel Aging:  Aged 17 months in French oak (55% new barrels)
Winemaker: Dan Goldfield
Cases Produced: 438

Fox Den Vineyard is perched on top of Stoetz Ridge, at the western border of Green Valley and just above the town of Occidental. The Goldridge sandy loam soil here is extremely sandy since this ridge is old pushed-up sea bottom, which makes for low vigor vines, slow ripening, and beautifully floral and fruit driven wine. Here on the hill, it’s frequently a touch warmer than the bottom of the valley, but it’s still always among the last harvested and highest in natural acidity of our pinots. Dan and Steve planted the spot together in 2002, and Dan has been crafting the wine since 2004. The eight acres is split into three clones: 667 for vivid fruit, 777 for chewy tannins and 115 for brightness and floral aromatics. For the vineyard designated wine, the exact blend between them will vary each year, but the result is always a wine with sweet, lush cherry/strawberry fruit and great natural acidity. This beautiful site is the home of Ed and Sue Smith, old friends who now lovingly oversee their 8 acres of beautifully farmed fruit.

Tasting Notes

The long 2018 season imparted a great density to our Fox Den Pinot Noir. While we usually think silk when drinking and describing the texture of this wine, this vintage ranges more to satin. In the nose, a mix of red fruits burst into the lead, with sweet raspberry and strawberry interlaced with baking spices. The mouth has a wonderful sweet/tart interplay, dancing from Bing cherry to dried cranberry to alpine strawberry, garnished by cinnamon and nutmeg. The extra bit of weight gives it an especially lengthy finish.

Riff off the satiny theme with your food pairings, with dishes like duck confit, sweetbreads, pulled pork, and seared tuna. For cheese pairings, match the sweet/tart nature of the wine with a creamy goat cheese, Kaseri, or Bellwether Farm’s San Andreas.

Alcohol:  13.8% Ta:  6.7 g/L pH:  3.43 Open top fermentation, cold soak, punch down Barrel Aging:  Aged 17 months in French oak (55% new barrels) Winemaker: Dan Goldfield Cases Produced: 438

Fox Den Vineyard is perched on top of Stoetz Ridge, at the western border of Green Valley and just above the town of Occidental. The Goldridge sandy loam soil here is extremely sandy since this ridge is old pushed-up sea bottom, which makes for low vigor vines, slow ripening, and beautifully floral and fruit driven wine. Here on the hill, it’s frequently a touch warmer than the bottom of the valley, but it’s still always among the last harvested and highest in natural acidity of our pinots. Dan and Steve planted the spot together in 2002, and Dan has been crafting the wine since 2004. The eight acres is split into three clones: 667 for vivid fruit, 777 for chewy tannins and 115 for brightness and floral aromatics. For the vineyard designated wine, the exact blend between them will vary each year, but the result is always a wine with sweet, lush cherry/strawberry fruit and great natural acidity. This beautiful site is the home of Ed and Sue Smith, old friends who now lovingly oversee their 8 acres of beautifully farmed fruit.

Tasting Notes

Our 2017 vintage of Fox Den is an especially expressive interpretation of the vineyard, giving us a little more of everything we love in this site. The wound up energy of the wine shows right away in the saturated red raspberry, strawberry jam, and berry blossom nose. There’s a lifted quality and great liveliness to the aromas that keeps your nose diving back into the glass. With time, savory rhubarb notes reveal themselves, adding extra depth. Luscious high-toned strawberry spreads across your palate, filling your mouth with its candied richness. As always, the fine grained tannins carry this fruit on a silky ride to a lip-smacking finish.

This texture begs for similarly silky foods to accompany it, such as slow-cooked salmon, braised chicken, and scalloped sweet potatoes, or cheeses like burrata or Havarti.

At Dutton-Goldfield, our pinot is hand sorted and destemmed into small open top fermenters and the must is then cold-soaked for 5 days to gently extract color, spice and fruit characters, while mitigating harsher tannins. The three blocks at Fox Den were fermented and barreled separately to optimize what we most love about each, then blended to our tastes in March of 2018. The core of the 2017 is the plush, more strawberry 777, then half as much of the blackberry, focused 667 clone. One of the pleasures of the spring blending is getting to hone barrel choices. Fox Den is all about the floral notes of Remond Trancais, but Taransaud holds down the bass tones, and Rousseau adds structure. The wine was bottled in late March 2019 after 17 months in oak.

Alcohol:  13.8% Ta:  5.9 g/L pH:  3.41 Open top fermentation, cold soak, punch down Barrel Aging:  Aged 17 months in French oak (55% new barrels) Winemaker: Dan Goldfield Cases Produced: 630

Fox Den Vineyard is perched on top of Stoetz Ridge, at the western border of Green Valley and just above the town of Occidental. The Goldridge sandy loam soil here is extremely sandy since this ridge is old pushed-up sea bottom, which makes for low vigor vines, slow ripening, and beautifully floral and fruit driven wine. Here on the hill, it’s frequently a touch warmer than the bottom of the valley, but it’s still always among the last harvested and highest in natural acidity of our pinots. Dan and Steve planted the spot together in 2002, and Dan has been crafting the wine since 2004. The eight acres is split into three clones: 667 for vivid fruit, 777 for chewy tannins and 115 for brightness and floral aromatics. For the vineyard designated wine, the exact blend between them will vary each year, but the result is always a wine with sweet, lush cherry/strawberry fruit and great natural acidity. This beautiful site is the home of Ed and Sue Smith, old friends who now lovingly oversee their 8 acres of beautifully farmed fruit.

This beautiful site is the home of Ed and Sue Smith, old friends who now lovingly oversee their 8 acres of beautifully farmed fruit.

Tasting Notes

As with our other wines, the early start to the 2016 season gave our Fox Den Pinot Noir that perfect combination of brightness and richness. The wine is especially vibrant in both the nose and mouth this vintage, leading with vivid aromas of a mélange of red fruits—cherry, strawberry, and raspberry—with a pretty touch of rose petals and a savory note of rhubarb pie. Baking spice tones continue in the mouth, providing a backdrop to support a leading cast of luscious Bing cherry and Chambord. The texture is caressing and smooth, its fine tannins carrying the creamy strawberry shortcake finish to a delicious end. Any fish with a matching silky texture would make an excellent pairing, such as a mustard-crusted branzino, olive oil poached salmon, or steamed sea bass, as would a creamy cheese like Humboldt Fog.

Any fish with a matching silky texture would make an excellent pairing, such as a mustard-crusted branzino, olive oil poached salmon, or steamed sea bass, as would a creamy cheese like Humboldt Fog.

At Dutton-Goldfield, our pinot is hand sorted and destemmed into small open top fermenters and the must is then cold-soaked for 5 days to gently extract color, spice and fruit characters, while mitigating harsher tannins. The three blocks at Fox Den were fermented and barreled separately to optimize what we most love about each, then blended to our tastes in March of 2017. The core of the 2016 is the plush, more strawberry 777, then half as much of the blackberry, focused 667 clone. One of the pleasures of the spring blending is getting to hone barrel choices. Fox Den is all about the floral notes of Remond Trancais, but Taransaud holds down the bass tones, and Rousseau adds structure. The wine was bottled in April 2018 after 17 months in oak.

Alcohol:  13.8% Ta:  5.7 g/L pH:  3.51 Barrel Aging:  Aged 17 months in French oak (55% new barrels) Winemaker: Dan Goldfield Cases Produced: 767

Fox Den Vineyard is perched on top of Stoetz Ridge, at the western border of Green Valley and just above the town of Occidental. The Goldridge sandy loam soil here is extremely sandy since this ridge is old pushed-up sea bottom, which makes for low vigor vines, slow ripening, and beautifully floral and fruit driven wine. Here on the hill, it’s frequently a touch warmer than the bottom of the valley, but it’s still always among the last harvested and highest in natural acidity of our pinots. Dan and Steve planted the spot together in 2002, and Dan has been crafting the wine since 2004. The eight acres is split into three clones: 667 for vivid fruit, 777 for chewy tannins and 115 for brightness and floral aromatics. For the vineyard designated wine, the exact blend between them will vary each year, but the result is always a wine with sweet, lush cherry/strawberry fruit and great natural acidity.

Tasting Notes

Our harvest at Fox Den was down by half in 2015 due to the wet weather during pollination, giving us a tiny and extra concentrated crop. That concentration is immediately evident when you put your nose in the glass: the rich, sweet cherry nose of our 2015 Fox Den Pinot draws you in its aromatherapy embrace, making you anxious to dive into the glass. Pretty notes of violet and bay leaf add layers of complexity. The energetic mouth leads with red raspberry, strawberry, and pomegranate, framed by dark cherry accents. The wine finishes long and fresh, with a touch of toasted caramel at the end.

A creamy rabbit pâté would make an excellent foil to the perky red fruit, as would pepper-crusted pork tenderloin or grilled arctic char.

Our harvest at Fox Den was down by half in 2015 due to the wet weather during pollination, giving us a tiny and extra concentrated crop. That concentration is immediately evident when you put your nose in the glass: the rich, sweet cherry nose of our 2015 Fox Den Pinot draws you in its aromatherapy embrace, making you anxious to dive into the glass.

At Dutton-Goldfield, our pinot is hand sorted and destemmed into small open top fermenters and the must is then cold-soaked for 5 days to gently extract color, spice and fruit characters, while mitigating harsher tannins. The three blocks at Fox Den were fermented and barreled separately to optimize what we most love about each, then blended to our tastes in March of 2016. The core of the 2015 is the plush, more strawberry 777, then half as much of the blackberry, focused 667 clone. One of the pleasures of the spring blending is getting to hone barrel choices. Fox Den is all about the floral notes of Remond Trancais, but Taransaud holds down the bass tones, and Rousseau adds structure. The wine was bottled in February 2017 after 16 months in oak.

Alcohol:  13.8% Ta:  6.8 g/L pH:  3.44 Barrel Aging:  Aged 16 months in French oak (55% new barrels)

Fox Den Vineyard is perched on top of Stoetz Ridge, at the western border of Green Valley and just above the town of Occidental. The Goldridge sandy loam soil here is extremely sandy since this ridge is old pushed-up sea bottom, which makes for low vigor vines, slow ripening, and beautifully floral and fruit driven wine. Here on the hill, it’s frequently a touch warmer than the bottom of the valley, but it’s still always among the last harvested and highest in natural acidity of our pinots. Dan and Steve planted the spot together in 2002, and Dan has been crafting the wine since 2004. The eight acres is split into three clones: 667 for vivid fruit, 777 for chewy tannins and 115 for brightness and floral aromatics. For the vineyard designated wine, the exact blend between them will vary each year, but the result is always a wine with sweet, lush cherry/strawberry fruit and great natural acidity. This beautiful site is the home of Ed and Sue Smith, old friends who now lovingly oversee their 8 acres of beautifully farmed fruit.

  • 91

    points

    , August 2022

    "Leading with notes of sweet kirsch and forest herbs, the 2019 Pinot Noir Fox Den Vineyard is another full-bodied wine from the estate, offering notes of fleshy black cherry, blackberry, and freshly turned soil. These are wines that can hold up to grilled meats and richer fare at the table. Drink over the next 3-5 years."

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  • 93

    points

    , 2022

    "Sleek and fine-textured, this is filled with a rich medley of red berry and dried cherry flavors that show hints of citrus zest. The minerally finish is pure and direct, with notes of dried green herbs and cooking spices. Drink now through 2027. 436 cases made. "

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  • 94

    points

    , April 2022

    "Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield planted this 8-acre vineyard for Ed and Sue Smith in 2002, at their home on a ridge near Occidental, in the western corner of the Green Valley. The sandy Goldridge soils, remnants of an ancient seabed, reduce vigor in the vines, which, in turn, produce the kind of fruit that speaks of the grandeur of the Pacific in the wine’s velvet waves of flavor. It captures the shifting fog in its freshness, the sun in the warm tones of earth. Bright floral scents and dark green plum play in and out of the oak (55 percent of the wine aged in new barrels). This is pretty righteous wine from the coast."

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  • 93

    points

    , February 2021

    "A linear expression of the grape, this wine is textured and mineral-driven. Focused, it offers crunchy red fruit, cinnamon-cola notes and a tang of orange peel, the body balanced in weight and ripeness."

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  • 90

    points

    , 2020

    "Focused dried cherry and berry flavors dominate this svelte style. Crushed dried rose petal notes blend with minerally accents on the fresh finish. Drink now through 2023. 630 cases made."

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  • 95

    points

    , April 2019

    "Tones of grapefruit, strawberry and red cherry kick off this immensely textured, expressive wine from a site along Stoetz Ridge above Occidental. Warm spice dots the landscape of lively freshness and supple tannins, with depths of flavor and balanced richness."

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  • 91

    points

    , May 2019

    "Quite a cool and crisp pinot noir with bright cranberry character, but it has the concentration to carry this style. Long, rather minerally finish. Better from 2020."

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  • 92+

    points

    , April 2019

    "The 2016 Pinot Noir Fox Den Vineyard has a medium ruby-purple color and nose of black cherry, wild blackberry and blueberry with notes of tobacco leaf and earth. Medium-bodied with dark fruits, grainy tannins and mouthwatering acidity, it finishes spicy. 767 cases produced."

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  • 92

    Points

    Wine Spectator, March 2019

    "Delicate, with a core of macerated red cherry and crushed raspberry flavors that are pure and juicy. Mineral and spice notes come in on the lithe finish. Drink now through 2023. 767 cases made."

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  • 94

    Points

    Wine Enthusiast , March 2019

    "This wine is beautifully fruity in tones of cranberry, strawberry and raspberry, with perfumed wafts of rose and lavender on the nose. It's light in body, driven by bright acidity that keeps it fresh and inviting. A silky display of Asian spice rings on the finish."

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  • 91

    points

    Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits, March 2018

    "This wine's silky red fruit has some darker, saturated tones, bringing to mind pomegranate seeds and rhubarb. It's gentle and savory in the middle, hinting at sweetness in the end. Cool, clean, and firmly structured, this will gain more fragrance with a year or two in bottle."

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  • 93

    points

    Don Winkler, International Wine Review, March 2018

    "The Fox Den Vineyard Pinot Noir is one of Dutton Goldfield’s finest. It’s big yet elegant with a beautifully, silky textured mouth feel and dark red cherry and plum aromas and flavors complemented by touches of pomegranate and red raspberry. It sees 16 months in 55% new barriques (RemonTrancais, Taransaud, and Rousseau), but the oak is seamlessly integrated. A big but elegant wine with a rich, long finish. The Fox Den vineyard, planted in 2002, is located on top of Stoetz Ridge, just above Occidental."

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TRADE & MEDIA ASSETS /////////////////

2019 Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Pinot Noir – Tasting Note

2018 Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Pinot Noir – Tasting Note

2017 Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Pinot Noir – Label

2017 Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Pinot Noir – Tasting Note

Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Pinot Noir – Shelftalker

Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Pinot Noir – Bottle

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Pinot Noir – Label

2016 Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Pinot Noir – Tasting Note

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Pinot Noir – Label

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Pinot Noir – Bottle

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Pinot Noir – Tasting Note

Dutton-Goldfield – Vineyard Photo

Dutton-Goldfield – Winery Photo

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